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Solving the Novelty Catch-22
Actually, knowledge is evolutionary in nature and most times it can happen that one knowledge serves as the basis of the other.
By Adeleke Adedayo
Sep. 25, 2015

One of the important things that come to mind when deciding aims/objectives of a research is the expected knowledge contribution of the study. There is already a vast body of knowledge in every area of human endeavours; however still, new studies are expected to contribute some new knowledge to the existing ones. Therefore, knowledge from a new research is expected to posses some fresh feature happening for the first time. Further still, it is expected that new knowledge from new studies should be presented in the context of existing knowledge because it is believed that this serves to give credibility to the new knowledge being presented. This thought line can be considered a good one because oftentimes to further knowledge, we must start somewhere. Actually, knowledge is evolutionary in nature and most times it can happen that one knowledge serves as the basis of the other. Therefore, it is much more desirable that research studies provide features that show significant differences from status quo knowledge, because this new features can be taken as innovation or novelty of the new study. At the same time, it is equally desirable that new knowledge from new studies be presented in the context of existing ones. Normally, in discussing results of new research studies, the attempt is to present the results in a broader context of other works on the subject so that they can be interpreted with minimum speculation. Actually, in science; and particularly in engineering analysis, observations of nature are explained using equations, variables and functional relationships based on other established facts in related subjects. The essence is to be able to make generalizations and possibly very accurate predictions beyond the range confirmed by status quo knowledge. The desire for innovation/novelty in research and the need to present new knowledge in the context of other similar works lead to a catch-22 situation

In: Deciding Novelty of submitted manuscripts, the article published by Science Publishing Group, attempt is made to solve the catch-22 problem through a scientific approach. The notable feature of scientific methods is organized methods/systems to prove, examine, determine, and test claims. In the study, a framework for determining the novelty of submitted manuscript was presented. The importance of the need for objective determination of the novelty of submitted manuscript was identified. Discussions on the meaning of novelty were presented and used as basis to form mathematical expressions defining parameters for newness and level to which an article is interesting; useful to quantify the novelty of manuscript. The defined parameters are found more useful in objective decision of the novelty of manuscripts as opposed to the current frustrating subjective methodology adopted by editors and reviewers world over.

Figure 1: The novelty curvature

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